Park / The Lonely Planet
- 25-February 23
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89.50%(required: 80%) Spotlight
Percentage of vote: 89.5%
bigshootergill 95% yes Magnus 95% yes RWE 95% yes Terry Inferno 95% yes wheres_walto 95% yes CoasterCreator9 90% yes In:Cities 90% yes Liampie 85% yes posix 85% yes Scoop 85% yes Cocoa 80% yes ottersalad 80% yes 89.50% 100.00%
Travel is in our DNA. At Lonely Planet, we believe travel opens the door to the greatest, most unforgettable experiences life can offer. And we have learned that the best travel is about putting yourself out there, about leaving behind the everyday, about immersing yourself, rather than just seeing the sights.
My journey started in 2011 after booking a round-the-world ticket from London to Australia. With a loose plan, a little bit of money, and one backpack, I travelled through Australasia, South East Asia and some of Africa. Since then, traveling has inspired many more adventures, and this very park!
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• The park was built with Open GL enabled, I highly recommend this as it will increase your viewing experience.
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MemesRCT Fan Offline
That theme park creation is looking very impressive and in my opinion the roller coasters look sick. This is one of the most insane creations in all of New Element!
Gustav Goblin Offline
May do a long review later but I'll keep this short (in Gustav terms) for now. Genuinely unbelievable release, one of my favorite realism parks in a while. Definitely up there with, Riverland, Washuzan, and DisneyEarth. Watching this come together so quickly in the Hawaii 0-Five server was insane, especially with how much micro detail made it into this gargantuan map. It's tough to really remark on any highlights when every single area is jam-packed with not just technical prowess but love. It's one thing to model a real-world location, but to recreate your own experiences absorbing the locales and customs; it's just so infectious! It doesn't feel dated either despite your hiatus; you adapted to a completely new game and the meta that came with it shockingly well. Honored to have processed the custom music for this park. 90/yes
Dang, this is so much to go through.. the park is massive! First thought is to give you a huge congrats on completing such a project. I agree with Gustav that you've adapted well to the new meta and I'm happy to see you churning out parks again.
I'll just give some thoughts on each area as I go thru them:
Splitvision Fan Offline
I've been hyped for this ever since I was made aware of it's existence, and I am happy to say that I think this exceeded my expectations.
I firmly believe (or at least, strongly hope) this park will mark a bit of a turning point in the community meta, where we might start exploring going back more to the semi-realism roots of NE but now with this refined layer of realism which NE has perfected over the recent years woven into it. This park is such a perfect example of this balance act, and you really showcase pretty much all the skills and techniques needed to pull such a park off - incredibly impressive.
I'll review per area, as Otter did:
England - Lovely classy architecture and very elegant, breathy macro. The White Cross is an excellent simple woodie which sits perfectly along the side of the area. The channel is a very nice touch. This is a great choice of theme for an entrance area, feels unique but still tidy and easy for the viewer to read and understand.
New Zealand - The curvy, organic macro of this area is a nice contrast to the more rigidly shaped English area. The focus on nature works well here, love the dramatic mountains and the intricate river rapids. Aoraki is a truly stunning main ride for the area. I did feel this area perhaps lacked a bit in the detailing department, and in certain areas the dirt path was a bit too bare and dominating, but seeing as the focus was more on the big pieces, it would perhaps have been weird to force a ton of smaller details here.
India - Some truly epic and grandiose architecture in this area. Kangra Express showcases some of the best integration of a coaster into a building ever - it doesn't feel like the building is shaped to accomodate the coaster, nor the other way round. Both the coaster and the building feel in perfect harmony. And on top of that (or underneath it, really), there is a dramatic, steep splash boats drop nestled into this giant building - could the nostalgia factor be any higher? Really incredible. A small critique would be that I think there could have been a better color for the coaster, but that is really a minor thing. There is also a giant hand sculpture holding a coaster - you know I love that kind of stuff. All in all, an amazing area.
Thailand - Yes, finally an ambitious and extensive attempt at tackling this theme, which I feel has been weirdly underused in NE circles. A really fun area and I appreciate the small details to indicate a little more chaos - sparkling power lines, tuk tuks (love the Crazy Tuk Tuk ride and its signage!), tons of street food etc. I initially felt this factor could probably have been turned up a fair bit - I've been to Bangkok and other parts of Thailand and this maybe felt a little too polished - however, I understand of course that this is a representation in a park, not actually Bangkok, and with that in mind, you probably did find a good balance after all. The garden/temple area is really lush and inviting. The invert is fitting, although I feel this layout is maybe not as strong as some of the other main rides.
Iceland - This might be my favorite area. This so successfully takes a few quite disparate elements of a theme/country and mixes them together in an exquisite semi-realism way. I like all the parts of this area. It was waaay to long ago we saw a volcano in a park that actually looks more real than a prop. It looks really great, honestly. The small snowy part, the water front, the colorful city center, the modern-looking and expansive thermal bath resort - all of it is really excellent. And Fagradalsfjall is a really smooth and flowing layout, love the orange coloration by the volcano as well.
Czechia - Probably the most architecture-focused area, and all of it looks beautiful. I could perhaps have imagined a slightly more dark and gothic slant to it, but just as with the Thai area, it probably makes sense that there is this very slightly curated feel to it. The station for the RMC and the other church-like buildings around it are probably my favorite on the whole map, just stunning stuff. The single-rail coaster is fun and a good choice as a non-invasive main ride addition to this very elegant area.
You're back with a bang, and surely a nicely rated Spotlight! So great to have one of the old inspirations coming back to the site and helping to keep the RCT excited even almost 25 years after the game premiered. If you take a break for a bit after this gargantuan release I understand it, just don't make it as long as your previous hiatus
Terry Inferno Fan Offline
J K + new save format = Unstoppable Spotlight machine
I've seen this park go through many iterations over the past 6+ months, and as familiar as I am with it by now, I am still blown away by the object mastery at play here. Even after a decade of not building anything during RCT's (arguably) most transformative era, you can just jump in and find every object you need, build a masterpiece full of smaller masterpieces, and transform the RCT meta once again. It's nothing short of brilliant.
I've given this many segmented reviews during its development, so you already know that anything minor I would potentially change is just personal preference at this point. This will be a rare praise-only review, as I believe this park has graduated with honors from my critiquing period. You'll be pleased to know that my friend, the Big Yellow Crayon, has found no reason to appear again in any review of this park.
I'll go clockwise since the others have gone the opposite way...
Hadn't seen as much of this one since it was finished very close to when you submitted it, but these are some of the best English building facades ever, and that includes the real version of England. Around the World may have been the very last ride you added, and even at 99% completion, you managed to pack in one last phenomenal ride that didn't exist in any form beforehand. The black roofs and trims give this area a very strong presence even from the furthest zoom point; it does not bleed into the areas around it even in its close proximity to them.
I've never been to this country, but if it's as fun and lively as you've made it look here, it certainly deserves a visit during my next trip to Europe (regardless of whether that happens any time soon, as it's only been 20 years...). The architecture rivals that of England as the most realistically detailed in the park, which is a high bar to reach already in a park where everything is highly detailed and lifelike. Macro composition is especially strong here as well. Nobody will ever build anything Czech in RCT without using this area as a reference. Bohemia also deserves credit for being one of the few realistically-designed Raptors that doesn't seem awkwardly thin or out of scale.
How does one combine Tolsimir rocks, Fisch rocks, Krypton rocks, 1J rocks, 1K ruins, LOTR mountainsides, and the NCSO volcano and still make it look this good? You can feel the extreme temperature contrast between the volcano and the icy patches; I don't know whether to visit this country in a polar jacket or shorts. Perhaps I'll compromise and wear them together. I appreciate that this area is a solid mix of landscaping (including rockification) and architecture rather than focusing on one or the other since most of the other areas do that already. The hot springs being a different color from the ocean is a nice subtle trick to allow us to automatically perceive it as being a different temperature without even thinking about it; additionally, it is also a beautifully-shaped use of negative space.
This was the first area you built, and after seeing that hyper-detailed urban crunch for the first time, I knew this park couldn't not be a Spotlight if you just kept every other area at such a high level. Ultimately, every area reached this same level of quality, but you set the bar very high (if not ultra-extreme) for yourself with this first section. The crunchy East-Asian city look is nailed here, and yet as gritty as it is, you've simultaneously given it a pristine finish fit for a timeless RCT look. The contrast between the busy slice of metropolizza and the serene golden invert in the grass is lovely. I will never not love that dragon spine. Also nice to see Roomie's colorable ball CTR get some good mileage.
Rajasthan on Rajastheroids. The detail in the architecture is astounding, but the large forms truly shine, particularly that large complex in the corner. It is difficult to pull off a massive splash boat drop in any context, but this one looks marvelous and reminds us that we can build rides however tall we like in RCT and still find ways of turning them into something beautiful. Everything comes together thematically as well as aesthetically; with the combination of crunchy grit and ornate grandiosity, you've captured India better than anyone ever has in RCT. Even the tiniest little details, like using a tree planter, flowers and the little drummer peep to successfully simulate street food, are ingenious. This will be the themed area to beat at next year's NE Awards.
Seeing the mountains evolve from primarily LOTR mountainside pieces to some of the most realistic mountain depictions RCT has ever seen is perhaps my favorite transformation out of everything I've seen improve through this park's development, and that's a long list. The rich brown and green color scheme places us in the scenic wilderness setting, while the red and black totems add that extra touch of culture. Who else would think to use a railroad crossing sign as a Maori totem? This is what I mean when I say the object mastery is mind-blowing in every corner even at the smallest scale.
In the end, it is not the object mastery, the natural macro flow, the wonderful micro details or the sheer imagination that turns this into one of the all-time greatest parks but rather the combination of all of these elements. It would also not have reached such a high level without your unconditional love and admiration of all of these places, so it is a clear reminder to all of us how great a park can be when you adore your source material. It has been an honor to be a part of the development of this beautiful work--seeing it grow and contributing what I could behind the scenes has felt like a Paul Simon song unfolding in real time--and it will be exciting for all of us to see where you take your craft next when it is already at such a high level.
RWE Fan Offline
Wow, JK! I'm surprised how unsurprised most people are about this release coming, i definitely didnt saw a fullscale park of you coming this fast after your return to the community. Over 10 years after Dreamport this park showcases the work of a park builder, who managed to adapt to the modern era incredibly well while also achieving to maintain his typical style and identity. The areas follow the traditional country-themed style, yet the areas dont feel boring or like stuff we‘ve seen a lot of times on this site.
The chester area works very well as an entrance to the park: it explains what to expect while also already showing a lot of cool stuff. The little canal in the middle is very beautiful and i also really enjoyed all the side attractions here. The white cross is a nice wooden coaster, loving how it goes across the roof. Im only not really sure if im liking the entrance and exit placement here, compositionally it feels a little weird, but to be fair some corners in reallife parkst end to be like that too.
After i was done viewing stunning british architecture, i went to the czech republic area next. This area had a very Grand Tour-ish feeling architecturewise. I really loved the picnic area with the white and grey roof in the middle, it has a really nice biergarten feel to it. The RMC Raptor is a great main ride choice, i really enjoyed watching it interact with the queue and all the other stuff below. I also liked seeing so much interaction with the log flume ride, while i do think that that one was placed a bit weirdly on the edge here. I could get some good views on it from above, but it felt like there werent enough moments for the peeps to watch that ride.
Going from Czechia to Iceland was a nice contrast. Leaving the architecture heavy detailing and coming into that landscaping heavy area was a nice experience. The mack coaster and the volcano stole the show for me here, very cool ride, this part of the area feels very kumba-esque. Hot springs fit in nicely in here in my opinion. The curves work really well here. Im really liking that you also included that little icy harbour corner. I feel like most times when we see these country-themed parks, we see people focus only on certain aspects of the country, here you managed to really paint a whole picture of iceland. Im really appreciating this and it made me forgive some of the landscaping object choices, that felt a little too chaotic to me.
Talking about some interesting object choices: Lets go to Thailand. Im not a fan of the LOTR rocks here. But to be honest it doesnt matter. This area is awesome! It has such a unique style and atmosphere to it. Also again: It shows so much of the country: The rural parts, the urban parts, the mountains, the beaches… as a geographer there simply is no other option for me than loving this, although especially in the city part some of the ground level detailing felt a bit too much for me and the light grey brick path is such a bold choice. But man, i spend like half an hour looking at this thinking: Why dont i do build stuff like this?
When i went to the indian area, it was sure for me that this is a spotlight. Kangra Express is a worth successor of Djinn. Looking at the ride design here, this might be one of my favorite rct rides ever. Also one cant not like the water ride with the giant drop. Architecturewise this area reminded me a lot of Liams and Andrews H2H park, i definitely think that isnt a bad thing though, it rather shows how much quality we see here. And it doesnt stop there: We also have a well done spinning coaster with an amazing hand sculpture. Probably my favorite corner of the map.
Last but not least we have New Zealand. Really loved how Aoraki as a main coaster framed that area. I also really liked the rapid rids the landscaping. Well, except for the LOTR rocks. I think you showed yourself how it could work better with the Fisch rocks, didnt understand why you didnt just used those in some places. Skydive was the last coaster i watched in this park. Maybe compositionally it felt a bit too unconnected to the rest of the park, but as a ride on its own i really enjoyed this.
To concluded this park really shows why you have that legendary parkmaker title. There is so much variety, uniqueness and cleverness in this park, that it is an obvious spotlight for me. This really feels like a park i will come back again and again to get inspiration and ideas. Thank you really much for this, JK. Huge congrats and respect for this!
J K Offline
Just a huge shoutout to some builders I approached for some custom objects and rides. Arjan and Iretont both shaped the park so much, thanks to these guys the areas in the park wouldn't be as good! From the item side Arjan created colourable Tudor walls with a new texture so they blended with the game a lot more. I've only touched the surface on it's usages but they're some of my favourite objects. Disneyland pieces were also created as walls but also stand alone roof objects. Check them out, super useful!
Also two new rides to the game are custom tuk tuks! You can see them on the road but also the very top of the ride as a prop. And lastly canal boats with four editable sections so you can make the boats as long as you like. I've only used them for scenery in the park, but they are both functional.
Because the rides and objects were so good, the guys were added as shares as they smashed it out of the park.
G Force Offline
Congrats J K, to produce a park like this after years away from the game is so impressive. There is so much content here its really impossible to get a full grasp of it on first viewing, this is certainly one that I'll come back to view many times in the future. The readme is super cool too.
As far as initial impressions, its clear you put a lot into all the areas and really pushed the creativity, I love that. Your style feels so very fresh here too, still with hints of your old stuff but very much embracing the new objects and styles that have come about in the last 10 years. It truly feels like a new park, which I love. Much of the criticisms I've had of your work in the past dont really apply here, which is great to see.
Anyways, trying to decide on a score, will probably take a few more viewings to take it all in. But regardless, congrats on such an impressive release, glad to have you back!
CoasterCreator9 Fan Offline
There is really fun.
Milo Fan Offline
70/no will explain my reasoning in 2024
FredD Fan Online
This is a real incredible release. First of all, opening the "readme" with the link was a big 'oh wow' moment. I really appreciate the effort put in this as it tells the story of the park really well. Hat off for that!
The Tudor architecture is so great! I really like the scale of the entrance which helps conveying the feeling you're stepping into an English Tudor village. I love the shapes around the Adventurers ride and the facade of Around the World is just wonderfull. An old woodie is definitely the right kind of coaster for this area, fits very well. The canal with boats is so lovely, together with the green it makes it feel so damn English.
First of all, the transition from England to NZ is done so well, personally I find it hard to make transitions work. I'll gladly learn from you. A lot of cool rides here, like the El Loco but the RMC and Rapid River are the stars of the show of this area. That first drop of the RMC is incredible, that would be such a blast to ride irl. The coaster has good flow and good pacing. The rapid river is great, knowing how hard these can be to make look good, you did an incredible job at that.
What really strikes me in this area are the mountains used as backdrop for the RMC. It's amazing how tall you made them look, so detailed and also just the right size. The fact that they don't block any viewpoint is a sign of great buildership.
This is probably my favorite area of the park, the architecture is so amazingly detailed and so colorful. I love it! Also, the custom music in this area keeps hanging around in my head. There's just too much stuff here to love: the giant hand acting as a support for the spinner, all the little market stalls,... It's so full of life and atmosphere. Love it. Star of the show is of course the Kangra Express & Yamuna comination. Incredible how you pulled off a structure that large yet so detailed and good looking. Another sign of a legendary parkmaker at work
This area has a mix between modern urban theming and traditional SE-Asian culture. The crazy tuktuk coaster is funny, a bit on the larger side imo though. The best spot of this zone is def the floating markets, so atmospheric. The beach festival was also done greatly. The invert was fine, I really liked how you used that dragon train as a spine, nice touch.
Have to say this area is close to India being my favorite. This area is a great work of landscaping, the lava streams and rockwork is so done well. I think you portrayed the nature of Iceland really good. That fisher village is done so great, also lovely boats you made there. The launch coaster here is the best coaster of the park for me, really nice layout that keeps a nice pace all around. Two launches put in on the right spots and a great flow of elements. Wish it was real.
I dig the space you used for the hot springs. I don't think any of us would do that but it works so well and it gives the park some breathing space. I also want to say that the geyser space shot tower is awesome, really great to put the station underground. Simple but it works so well and it looks so good.
Another fabulous zone filled with great architecture! As someone who's been to Prague many times, it feels very recognazible. The amount of detailing on the buildings is incredible. I really like how you integrated a maze there, such an underused ride and you made it work so good over here. The pilsner ride was also very great and fun to look at.
I might have to reconsider saying that the Icelandic launch coaster is the best coaster of the park, because Bohemia also has a great layout. Another one I would love to ride irl (make it happen RMC). As me being Fredd I really love that weirdly shaped cobra roll. Great stuff!
do have one nitpick here: I think the Vltava log flume is kinda stuffed away for the public. Especially the big drop should be placed where the peeps could look and view to it. I think a ride like a log flume also deserves a bigger station, which is also a bit stuffed away from all the central points.
I was hoping for a next edition of a Grand Tour contest, but it seems like JK just won that already with this park. It's an amazing collection of countries, some of them we haven't seen too much in the game. This park has so much to love and I think many of us will revisit it to get inspired or to amaze its beauty. I also want to add that the added custom music adds so much to the whole experience! It enhanced the atmosphere a lot. I especially loved the music in India & Iceland.
You showed that you are a legendary parkmaker for a reason. I think it is really amazing how fast you got used to the newer objects NE uses today. Another showtell of great parkmakership. Congrats with the spotlight, anything else than spotlight would have been a robbery.
Congrats! What an amazing accomplishment for not only someone who has been away from the game for so long, but just about anyone. This park is superb and deserves multiple viewings. Because of that, I'm doing my review with broad strokes instead of breaking it down by each land.
The first thing that I have to touch on is the scale of everything throughout this park. Every coaster, showset piece, facade, etc. is huge, but not in an overwhelming or out-of-scale way. It all seems to be really intentional, as if to capture one's first impression upon seeing something new and exotic in another part of the world, or that "wow" moment. That comes through consistently, regardless of the land. I even had a few "wow" moments when I saw the risk you were taking with a lot of these buildings or mountains. And to my surprise, it always worked.
And I think it also really reinforces the other aspect which you crushed in this park: interaction. Coasters are not off on a flat piece of land away from guest paths or other rides. On the contrary, everything is woven together in a complex yet cohesive fashion. It doesn't feel cluttered, but almost every land does have that organic atmosphere, as if real people were here and created these lands. Some of the sightlines that you've created for guests are gorgeous, both on and off rides. I can really imagine myself and the anticipation as I am approaching a queue while trains whizz by from multiple coasters. You've demonstrated that skill before in your other parks, which is why I've always loved your style. But here, it's taken to the next level.
Last thing to praise is the coaster lineup. You've got a unique but balanced set of coasters, instead of the usual suspects. The layouts on their own are solid, but the real star is their interaction with their surroundings. My favorite had to be that RMC single-rail, especially for the way that it interacted with the log flume and its own queue.
I could go on, but I'd rather spend my time in the park instead of singing your praises any more. Truly one of my favorite parks of all time. Again, congrats on the spotlight. Very well-deserved.
Not only is the park fully integrated within today’s meta with half diagonals / curves / new objects and colors, but you’ve even included so many new ideas and methods of execution I haven’t seen before. Some of my highlights: the change in levels in Czechnia, the gothic architecture spires, the curved queue for the incredible flatride in India, the massive scale of the building in India… super imposing and usually a very difficult thing to ornament properly, yet here it’s perfectly balanced. The layout of the park itself, with the water splitting the different areas but still being used for boat rides and murals next to New Zealand, the consistency of the architecture in each area being faithful to the country but still with so much variation within each area to not feel repetitive. The tuktuk and billboards in Thailand, the canals with the ships, the Around the World ride building, the beautiful spires in Thailand, the landscaping of Iceland where you perfectly captured a very difficult country to translate to RCT. Having been to Iceland, you’ve encapsulated the experience here so well.
Then, the layouts - so many coaster types, each one unique with some surprise choices you’d not often expect based on the layouts that we’ve been seeing in recent years. My favorites definitely are the double lift hill of the ride in India, along with the crazily genius shrinking helixes (what a cool element!). The RMC in New Zealand is so unconventional as well, but it remains gorgeously framed by the landscape and flows beautifully. The Single rail in Czechnia had such a cool array of unique elements that caught me by surprise how well it worked for such a rectangular footprint.
To hear that you’re amped up for another solo already is just incredible when you’ve just gifted us this park. This park is inspirational and aspirational for us builders who have never completed a solo work before. Congratulations on your full fledged return to NE, and am so looking forward to whatever’s next.
Firstly---its awesome that this exists. Spotlights are rare enough as is, let alone from old members making comebacks. This park is such an excellent example of the endurance of this game, and this community. I think we're gonna want to be here for a long time.
There's a lot to love here---juicy architecture, bright tropical colors and life. Some stunning rollercoasters with interact in interesting and novel ways with their areas. I guess I'll go area by area?
England---that carousel and entrance gate with the dark ride facade are excellent. the red brick is stunning, I wish you had carried that motif more heavily throughout this area. the composition of the canal with the greens around it is really unique and very moody. the architecture is mostly great, if slightly formulaic, although it possess a property that I'm a little bit struggling to describe in any way other than 'thin'. Its something about the objects you choose to decorate your facades with, or maybe because there are a lot of buildings that don't have clearly signalled purpose---I guess it is generally part of a (small) critique I have with consistency and 'semirealism'. Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a stan of semirealism as anybody else. I just think that within the genre, there is still a need for internal consistency in a park---are we doing backlots, or not? What scale are our buildings at? Do structures serve theme park roles, or do they exist in a more general, aesthetic/theming sense? Does the park 'exist' somewhere, or maybe I mean, why are areas all their own islands? Partly I think your answers to these questions oscillates from area to area here, and even within areas, which perhaps muddies the park conceptually---it is more difficult for me to know what to make of it, in a way. I will gladly accept whatever the park wants to be, it just kinda needs to want to be something (other than, 'easier to finish' haha)
Okay, the above is not really a big deal, but I told you I would give you my criticism! Other than that kind of meta-level commentary, I mostly love the park, so I'll just briefly go through some of the shit that caught my attention
the area around the icelandic baths is stunning. the rockwork and b&w architecture is really moody and so compelling. the volcano is... a fisch rock pyramid. don't get me started, lol...it is very hard to make these rocks look natural and not like smooth mush. the town square is great though, bustling with atmosphere.
the thai area is great too, one of the best in the park, although my god did you muck with the scale here! have u seen a wild mouse in real life? hahaha. that aside, the monorail is an awesome element compositionally and I love the boat market strip.
india---easily the best area in the park. stunning and atmosheric almost the whole way through, and the temple complexes are great. love the way the coasters weave around everything.
kiwis---the RMC is a great layout, although I think this area is crying out for a bit more architectural identity---it feels more like a swiss ski lodge like this (do you really hear the haka throughout the streets of New Zealand?? I think your music choice generally could have been a bit more savvy and perhaps slightly less on-top of each other throughout the park, but minor gripes again)
czechia---definitely a smorgasbord of cool architecture and slightly random facade spam. somehow, this area and england are the only ones I've actually been to in real life, and I'm not so sure this one feels like how prague felt, but there is still a lot to like here.
overall, I think this a really really good solo park, and a clearly deserved spotlight. I could probably be more or less harsh on its flaws depending on my mood, but I somehow don't think it'll phaze you much! besides, if you're finishing parks, that's all that really matters...
Lurker Fan Offline
It's just so fun to explore this park, the love and care put into every area clearly shows. It's great to see semi-realism at this level with the latest objects, tricks and hacks.
Also, the object choices here are bold and impressive. I looked at the Iceland volcano and counted like 5 different rock types, and yet it all works together and looks great, and I also spotted stuff like converted ad-on objects elsewhere. I love seeing stuff like this, taking stuff that should clash or not look good together and making it all work with a through pure skill.
Congrats on the spotlight J K!
what a park, and what a comeback, congrats JK well deserved. this park smacks of genuine love for all of these places, guessing you've been to all of them but if not then you've done a great job.
i'll go area by area in the order in which i found them:
entrance - ironically for a brit, i didn't fall in love with this area as much as some of the others. the canal feels weirdly out of place, i think i know what you're going for overall but the result ends up feeling a little disjointed - lots of really cool individual pieces that maybe don't come together in a coherent whole - not sure whether that's a layout issue or something else.
new zealand - this area i loved. i went to new zealand for a couple of weeks just before covid and this actually does a great job of reminding me of what i loved about that whole place. the landscape works really well, some cool interesting coasters, and a really strange mix of "european" architecture with traditional maori carvings and statues and things. felt like you had a ton of real world inspo for this area, and it works great. i love the elevated curvy paths too, and the taupo lake carving
india - massive, but warm and inviting and really great looking. so much to see here, it's almost overwhelming but you've come in just the right side of too much going on. coaster is cool but i don't love the colors, it kinda gets lost a little. again, this whole area smacks of "i went here and here's how i remember it" which i love.
thailand - interesting more modern take on a thai theme that i feel like we rarely see, and it works really well. potentially too much gold with the coaster also being gold? very small issue though, all the architecture is amazing and the atmosphere is strong throughout.
iceland is a weird one - probably my least favorite area in the park, but there are parts of it that i really like. obviously a pretty strong choice to go "active volcano" with it, as devastation like that usually isn't that good looking, and i think overall this area suffers a little because of that. i'm kinda comparing it in my head to the NZ section, which feels like "new zealand tourist board built a theme park area to show it off", and i feel like "volcano destroys everything" is a bit negative by comparison.. still, as a standalone area there's lots of things to like about it.
czech - i thought this one might have been england to start with, but it definitely has more of a bohemian flavor. tons of cool stuff, again - great ideas, loads of little things to find. in fact, this whole park kinda feels like a where's wally, with loads of these little scenes/easter eggs, which i love. i've only been to prague once years ago so couldn't really relate to this as strongly as some of the other areas, but it's great looking.
I think i have 2 small issues with the park, neither one is big enough to knock this down from the incredible park that it is, but i couldn't work out what was bugging me for a while - 1) the scale throughout the park just feels really changeable. you've got these tiny little houses in the entrance area, then this massive architecture in the czech area right nextdoor - this kept coming up a little, and makes the whole thing feel slightly disjointed. 2) all of the coasters, with the exception of the yellow one in india, are colored in the exact same color as their surroundings, or the main color of the theme - this makes all the rides kinda get lost in their settings, whereas a couple of strong contrasting colors might have showcased them a little more.
Again, neither of those issues stop this being some fantastic work, and a huge accomplishment to finish a park this size with this level of detail and class. a deserved spotlight, and definitely one that people will come back to as some of the strongest country themes ever made.
Love how the Thai invert is basically Nemesis. Same elements in same order (well one inline instead of a corkscrew but close enough) but a completely different look.
New Zealand is gorgeous. The outside of that building with all the little circles is stunning and love to see a whirlpool done well on the rapids.
The hot springs are brilliant and an unusual choice. I approve.
Also it's always nice to see some of my ride objects used never thought anyone would use the fish.
Finally got a chance to give this spot some love. Huge congrats to Mr. J K 2.0 on another spotlight and a great park.
I was very fortunate to get to see this come together, though it happened so fast that it feels like I only saw a few checkpoints and suddenly it was done. It is scary how fast J K builds when he's motivated, specifically from someone who builds a bit more on the glacial side. But more than just the speed, it was a really fun and interesting experience to see someone like J K, so accomplished in his first rct career, return to the community and to a game that is drastically different. Not having had much interaction with J K back in the day, I'm surprised that I got that chance but was so happy to provide feedback and see this evolve (rapidly) from something good, to something great, to the magic you ended up with.
I remember with Ghillie Dhu feeling like you were a kid in a sandbox with all new toys. There were flashes where it really came together and hit the modern 'meta' so they say, and then areas where it felt like we could actually see the experimentation and learning happening inside your head. Not all successful, but I think that is part of the charm to it. Ghillie Dhu is less about the design itself (for me at least) than it felt about getting a peak inside the head of an OG player coming back to a different world of rct. Like we got an MRI for how you were handling it.
Lonely Planet to me feels like the next step in that progression. We've talked a lot about it, what you wanted to accomplish and your goals, but more than anything, how you see large scale solos as a process thru which a player will grow and evolve. In that regard, I think Lonely Planet is an incredible park not just due to the quality and variety of striking settings you created, but also because we again get to see J K become a modern player. For me, Lonely Planet is the next snapshot. I can see in it both the new skills, the new abilities, and the new details you've learned as you made the park and as you've become familiar with modern rct after 10 years away. But, at the same time, there is a J K familiarity to it. A sense that certain elements of who you were in the past and how you built parks then lingering within Lonely Planet. In that way, I think this park feels distinctly you, tied to who you were in the past but updated with what has changed since, and that feels very special. Where as many other players will improve steadily over time, or their style evolves and changes from park to park, you have a very unique place in NE history, having been so disconnected and returning to grapple with a very different kind of rct. I commend you for the effort and thank you for giving us this project completed too fast, like a little time capsule of how J K returned to NE.
Personally, my favorite section of this park is India. While perhaps leaning a bit heavily on some inspiration from other rct-takes on India, I think this area is just lightning in the bottle. Filled with crunchy details, rich colors and textures, but also very readable as a part of a park and with some of the most fun rides to really take in.
Thailand is a close second for me, simply because of ALL the parts of the park, Thailand feels the most inspired by your experience visiting that country. From the diversity of rides, the unique style, and the small details throughout, this to me felt like the embodiment of your overall concept, a park exploring your experiences of traveling the globe and visiting these countries.
While I'm perhaps less concerned with it, I do share some of Cocoa's thoughts on this feeling a bit pulled between different styles. Some areas having backstage details while others had none, some of the scales varying wildly from section to section. I agree with that as a criticism, but I also in a weird way appreciate it as a sign of progress. Some of these 'inconsistencies' are what ties this to the J K that built historic spotlights all those years ago, and give this park part of the character the feels so warm and inviting in your work. That is why I say I can understand the criticism, there are a few places with unusual or just inconsistent choices, but I also see those as evidence of the progress and development you underwent in creating this park. And it makes me so excited for where you go next. If this is J K coming up to speed to the meta, the next park I know you'll elevate even further, and fine tune even more. Lonely Planet is a glorious spotlight stepping stone as J K resumes his career in rct, and I'm just happy to be around to see it and participate in it where I can.
Congrats again on another gorgeous spotlight. Can't wait for the next (and I promise I"ll make time to contribute this time, sudden NE contests be damned).